Mary Helen Farr lives in Tasmania, Australia, with her husband Andrew. Her three children and three grandchildren live close by. Nurturing a love of writing that began as a child, she published her first novel in 2013. Now retired, she has time to indulge her imagination, setting many of her stories to the backdrop of this beautiful, picturesque State.

Mary is the Past President of the Society of Women Writers Tasmania and is currently secretary.

To purchase copies of Mary's books go to: https://inhousebookstore.com.au/ 

Or contact the author: yted5@hotmail.com



It is 1911, and the Harris family live in Crewe, a large railway manufacturing city in Cheshire, England. Three family members work for the London and North West Railway Company (LNWR), and live in a company house. 

Tragedy strikes when two family members, Bill (the father), and James (the brother), are killed in an LNWR industrial accident. Soon after, Isobel (the mother), dies through shock and illness. For a short while, the remaining family must separate due to an eviction notice: Alice and baby George to the workhouse; John (as a railway navvy), to parts of England; and Jane to board, near her work. 

Eventually they reunite, then learn of a scheme for assisted passage to Australia. Could this venture offer a better life? Their application accepted, they travel as emigrants to Melbourne, Victoria, along with Jane's new husband, Jimmy. 

Once in Australia, the family splits - John to work for the Melbourne rail service, the others to live with and work for the Sherwin's, using their skills as market gardeners. They settle into an agricultural life, helping to run an ever-growing orchard at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. John's promotion to Station Master, sees him living close by, in Tyabb. 

Meanwhile Mary, who befriended Alice whilst in the Nantwich Institution (workhouse), is placed into service at Bebbington Hall, near Crewe. Her dream is to join Alice in Australia, and via an intriguing twist of events, she accompanies her very pregnant mistress Lady Penelope, to Melbourne. She leaves behind her friend, Joseph, who intends to emigrate too, once his accounting studies are completed. Mary and Alice unite after three years apart, and there is hope and excitement for everyone, as they settle into a life of promise and adventure in the land of their dreams. 

The author draws her characters, their hopes and dreams; their livelihoods; their places of birth and death, from her ancestry, gleaned from two years of genealogy research and collation. This is the first book of a duology. 

It is available on Kindle and to order as a paperback through Amazon.

WHOSE TREE WILL IT BE? by Mary Helen Farr

Detective Inspector Jean Augustine is on the trail to solve yet another murder – this time on the East coast of Tasmania, Australia, in the sleepy rural village of Dennison where he is holidaying. However, his break is disrupted when the local Sergeant, Noel Harvey, asks him to solve the murder of local lad Shane Savage, whose mutilated body is found by local resident Glenys Cussons as she makes her way home from an evening bridge game.

Constable Rosalie Smythe, Inspector Augustine’s trusty side kick, makes sure she joins her beloved Inspector on the case, and the three law enforcers begin their inquiries.

Dennison is far from sleepy, as undercurrents of local affairs, and family lies and deceits, lead the Inspector down many a sidetrack, until an arrest is imminent.

A CHANGE OF HEART by Mary Helen Farr

Kevin’s life is falling apart. His work is no longer rewarding, he is tired and miserable. Something has to change. But how, and what to? When Kevin finally cracks, he takes off along the north-east coast of Tasmania where he meets Jim, a loner who helps him turn his life around. But it is a chance meeting with the delightful Ellen that gives him the break he needs. His loving wife, Alison stands by his decision to invest in ‘The Hideaway’, a beautiful guest house by the sea. As she supports Kevin through his life crisis, she must also challenge her ailing mother’s demands. Meanwhile their daughter, Melissa, has her own problems. Acting maturely isn’t in her nature, so when things get serious with Joel, her workmate, trouble brews.     


Nick’s life up until now, has been packed with trouble. A neglected childhood, followed by run ins with the law. He now resides in a detention centre (near Deloraine), rubbing shoulders with other troubled lads. Escape can mean a new start, or if nothing else, respect from the other inmates.

Margaret and Jack (living in Launceston) enjoy a privileged life style. But their marriage is on the rocks. Margaret can’t accept the changes this will mean to her. A demotion from high society and a restricted income will ruin her life, whereas Jack views separation as the chance to cut free. He seeks peace with his sister in law, Alice, and his brother in law, Brian, on their farm at Kayena

Nick’s escape and Margaret and Jack’s problems, culminate in a stand off at the farm.

The novel, ‘What Price Freedom’ is set in the North of Tasmania, Australia. It explores man’s bid for freedom, but will the freedom Nick and others seek be better than what they have already and perhaps, do not appreciate?

Australia A Call to Arms by Mary Helen Farr

It’s 1914. As unrest escalates in Europe, we follow the Harris family as they are faced with the struggles impending war brings to Australia. Will the British Commonwealth demand they fight too? Which family members will be sent overseas as soldiers? Who will remain at home where this migrant family’s hard work is just beginning to reap rewards?

A commitment to the land, to their employers and their first born, poses dilemmas for Jimmy Langhorn and Jane (nee Harris). Alice Harris pursues her nurse training and becomes involved with the women’s rights movement, but then what? John Harris is torn two ways - does he fight for his country or does he stay with the railways? Mary Whittington leaves her position with the wealthy Penelope Butterworth. She joins the Harris family to live and work as the war effort demands more produce; Alfred and Grace Sherman, the Harris’ employers and close friends, struggle with age and illness. What will happen to their business? Joseph Farrington, Mary’s friend remains in England and fights for Britain, but struggles with the war - its futileness and mutilation of man and country.

This sequel to ‘Australia Land of Dreams’ explores the growth of this migrant family, set to a backdrop of the horrors of a war.


Murder Times Three

Harrison's Way

Eve's Second Chance

Tales of Tasmania

A Stones Throw

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